On June 22, 2016 the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law by the US President.
Online PR News – 30-July-2016 – Geneva, Switzerland – On June 22, 2016, the US President signed into law a new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform Bill. The new bill, entitled the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA), H.R.2576, makes significant revisions to the previous TSCA regulations, dating from 1976.
The amendments contained within the law, effectively:
• Charge the EPA with the creation of a classification system designed to prioritize which chemicals need to undergo scientific review for health and environmental effects – initial chemicals for evaluation must be selected by December 18, 2016
• Give the EPA powers to require chemical manufacturers to test chemicals
• Grant resources to the EPA to fund chemical studies
• Set concrete limits on the time the EPA has to review a chemical – maximum 3.5 years for evaluation
• Give the EPA a framework and powers to regulate chemical use after the studies are complete
• Allow the EPA to collect up to $25 million dollars a year in user fees from chemical manufacturers and chemical processors
For chemical manufacturers, the new law should:
• Speed up the approval process for chemical substances
• Ensure that evaluations are made using only risk-based science that considers a chemical’s effect on health and the environment
• Protect the Confidential Business Information (CBI) of chemical manufacturers
• Create a deadline for EPA review of CBI requests
Like the previous law, LCSA is focused primarily on chemical substances rather than chemicals used in articles. The EPA retains the ability to regulate articles if it can be demonstrated that there is a risk of chemical exposure from the article. LSCA also does not prevent any state laws that affect manufacturers of consumer products that were enacted before April 22, 2016; this includes Proposition 65 and the Washington, Maine, and Vermont reporting laws.
A new TSCA had been considered necessary due to the perceived failure of the previous law. In the 40 years since its enactment, the 1976 TSCA had only banned five chemicals.
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